Newt Gingrich, who was Speaker of the House from 1995 to 1999, was reportedly being considered for Donald Trump‘s running mate before Mike Pence was picked. Gingrich, 73, has been married three times and has two daughters, both from his first marriage. His two prior marriages both ended in divorce. Gingrich admitted that he was having an affair while the House was considering to impeach President Bill Clinton because of his affair with Monica Lewisnky.
Although Gingrich didn’t become Trump’s VP pick, he has stayed by Trump, even in the face of allegations of sexual assault from a dozen women. On October 25, Gingrich accused Fox News’ Megyn Kelly of being “fascinated by sex” when she brought up the allegations. Gingrich has remained close to the Trump team and is expected to play a role in Trump’s administration.
Here’s a look at Gingrich’s wives and children.
1. Gingrich’s First Wife Jackie Was His Former High School Geometry Teacher
Gingrich was first married to Jacqueline May “Jackie” Battley, who was his former high school geometry teacher, notes a 1995 Montgomery Advertiser report. He was 19 at the time and she was 26. They had two daughters – Kathy Gingrich Lubbers and Jackie Gingrich Cushman.
The couple divorced in 1981, while Jackie Battley Gingrich was recovering from cancer surgery. There were claims that Gingrich visited her in the hospital to talk about the divorce while she was recovering, Gingrich told the New York Times that this wasn’t the case.
In 2011, CNN discovered documents that showed that Jackie Battley Gingrich had asked a judge to delay divorce proceedings. At the time of CNN’s report, Gingrich was running for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination and his campaign insisted that Jackie Battley Gingrich was the one who filed for divorce.
Jackie Battley Gingrich died in August 2013 at age 77.
“I was married very young and had my first daughter when I was very young, in fact at the end of my freshman year in college,” Gingrich said in a 2007 radio interview with Focus on the Family’s James Dobson, ABC News reported at the time. “And after a period of time, about 18 years, things just didn’t work out.”
2. Gingrich Married His Second Wife Six Months After His First Divorce
Six months after Gingrich’s first divorce, he married his second wife, Marianne Ginther, a 28-year-old congressional aide who he started seeing before the divorce was completed. This started a pattern for Gingrich, as his third wife, Callista, was also a congressional aide who he was having an affair with before he divorced Marianne. Marianne Gingrich and Gingrich were married for 18 years before divorcing in 2000. They did not have any children together.
In an interview with Esquire in 2010, Marianne Gingrich said that Gingrich asked her to marry him before his divorce was final. “I should have known there was a problem,” she said. The same thing later happened when they divorced, where he asked Callista to marry him early.
“He’d already asked her to marry him before he asked me for a divorce. Before he even asked,” Marianne told Esquire.
In a 2012 interview with ABC News, Marianne Gingrich claimed that Gingrich asked her about having an “open marriage,” where he could be married and have a mistress. She refused.
However, ABC News later spoke with Gingrich’s daughters, who both said that Marianne’s “open marriage” statement wasn’t true.
“We spoke with him about that, Brian, and he said it’s simply not true,” Kathy Lubbers told ABC News’ Brian Ross in 2012. “The truth is our father and Marianne had a difficult marriage. They had a difficult divorce. … The American people have moved on. Our father has moved on.”
In that 2007 interview with Dobson, Gingrich did admit to having an affair while the House was moving to impeach Clinton for his affair with Lewinsky. “There are times that I have fallen short of my own standards,” Gingrich said at the time.
3. Callista Gingrich Is President of Gingrich Productions & a Children’s Book Author
Gingrich divorced Marianne in December 1999 and married Callista, 50, in August 2000. According to a Chicago Tribune report from 1999, a Gingrich friend said the affair with Callista began in 1993.
Callista was a major presence during Gingrich’s 2012 presidential campaign. She is currently President of their production company, Gingrich Productions, which has made documentaries and historical films. These include Ronald Reagan: Rendevous with Destiny, Divine Mercy: The Canonization of John Paul II, We Have The Power and Nine Days That Changed The World.
Callista is also a successful children’s book author, penning a series of books about Ellis The Elephant. She also sings in the choir at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, where Justice Antonin Scalia’s funeral was.
In 2011, Gingrich vowed to be faithful to Callista as he also vowed to defend the Defense of Marriage Act at the time in a letter to The Family Leader. “I also pledge to uphold the institution of marriage through personal fidelity to my spouse and respect for the marital bonds of others,” Gingrich wrote at the time.
4. Kathy Lubbers Founded a Coffee Company & Was Senior Advisor for Gingrich’s 2012 Campaign
Kathy Lubbers, whose husband is Paul Lubbers, was president and CEO of her father’s Gingrich Communications for over a decade, from 2000 to 2011. According to her LinkedIn page, Lubbers then became a senior advisor for Gingrich’s 2012 presidential campaign.
Lubbers is currently the president and CEO of Lubbers Enterprises, Inc. in Miami. There, she “Delights in guiding leaders, teams and organizations to achieve their ‘highest selves’ by identifying their strengths and focusing on the key components of leadership, relationships and performance,” according to her page. She was also a National Board Member for the Arthritis Foundation from 2004 to 2012. Lubbers also founded Carolina Coffee Roasting Company in 1992 and remained with the company until 1999.
Lubbers joined the Arthritis Foundation as a sufferer of arthritis herself. In her mid 20s, she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, but that hasn’t stopped her from running marathons to raise money for arthritis research.
5. Jackie Cushman Is a Political Commentator & Was Previously in Finance
Jackie Gingrich Cushman, who is married to Jimmy Cushman Jr., followed her father into the political arena as a commentator and author. She co-wrote 5 Principles for a Successful Life: From Our Family to Yours and The Essential American with her father. She is also a weekly columnist for Creators Syndicate.
Like her sister, Cushman’s LinkedIn profile also lists her as a senior advisor for her father’s 2012 campaign.
Before going into speaking and writing, Cushman was in finance, according to her LinkedIn page. She previously worked as Director of Finance for Sterling Cellular from 1991 to 1994. She was also Director of Finance for Bellsouth Mobility from 1993 to 2001 in the Atlanta area.
Cushman still lives in Atlanta and is also involved in several non-profits as a member of The Georgia Advisory Council for the Trust for Public Land and on the Alliance Theatre’s advisory council.
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